College & Career


By Kelsey Marron
Walter Payton

Located in Nashville, Tenn.,—a.k.a. Music City USA—Vanderbilt University is the perfect example of balance.

The “Ivy of the South” is known worldwide for its top-notch academics. But it’s also located in one of the best college towns in the country.

From its annual “Rites of Spring” concert (which isn’t just country music; Kid Cudi is set to perform this year), that takes place right on the main quad, to free massages during finals week, Vandy knows how to show its students a good time.


Vanderbilt is one of the most selective schools in the country, boasting an acceptance rate of 16.4 percent. It’s also ranked in the top 20 national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Their core curriculum, known as Achieving eXcellence in Liberal Education (AXLE), has four requirements that give students a broad background in the liberal arts while allowing them to explore their passions. Students can create majors by combining different disciplines, such as human and organizational development, which is now one of the most popular majors at Vanderbilt.

Much of the social life at Vanderbilt is dominated by the Greek scene, with 50 percent of females and 35 percent of males participating, according to The Princeton Review. But if The Row isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options. In 2008, Vanderbilt created the Ingram Commons, a mix of 10 new and renovated residence halls that allow the entire freshmen class to live and learn together in one place, creating a vibrant social scene right on campus.

Nashville has something to offer everyone. For sports fanatics, it’s home to several professional teams. Broadway Street is considered to be the place to see live music, and is the starting point for many aspiring singers and songwriters.

With so many students from the South, the Vanderbilt Commodores take pride in hospitality and chivalry. This means guys hold doors and call women “ma’am.” However, the student body lacks racial diversity. According to the school’s website, minorities represent only about 27 percent of the student population.

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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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